Plot: Takuya, Izumi, Tomoki, Junpei and Koji receive a mysterious message on their phones that invites them all to a train station. After a lengthy train ride, they find themselves in the Digital World. When a threat appears, Takuya’s cell phone transforms into a D-Tector (New name for the traditional Digivice), and he absorbs the power of a nearby spirit, Agnimon. He scans the fractal code of the spirit to transform into Agnimon and saves the day.
Unlike the first three series, I’m much less familiar with Frontier. I know the basic gist of the series. I know that they’re getting back to their roots with this one and having the Chosen Children for this season being trapped in the Digital World, but I also know that they’re deviating greatly from regular procedure in that the kids don’t get any partner Digimon. Instead, the kids themselves turn into Digimon.
I was always a bit uneasy about this change seeing as how one of the main focal points of the first three seasons, that I really loved, was the relationships between the kids and their Digimon, but I can also see how they’d want to spice things up for a new series. In addition, if they do it well, this could open the series to new avenues the previous three series never really explored. That being said, let’s get started.
The opener, as always, is changed, but this season we get an entirely different opening theme song instead of a mix of the previous ‘Digimon Digital Monsters’ theme we’ve known for the past three seasons. This song is memorable, but the lyrics are cheesy as hell. I can ignore all of that for the one section before the chorus where they just start chanting for no reason. That kicks so much ass.
In terms of clips behind the theme song, I believe more are kept than Tamers – about as much as Adventure 02. Unlike in Tamers, I don’t particularly mind this because the clips are fairly lame and they even make the kids lip sync to the song at a couple of points in the original which just seems lamer to me. It has nowhere near the creativity as Digimon Tamers‘ original opener. In fact, I’d say I prefer the dub’s clips as opposed to the original’s.
While we do get custom title cards, we don’t get ones that change every episode. It sucks, but I guess we’ll just have to deal with it. Today’s is The Legendary Warrior! Agnimon of Fire. In the dub, as with the previous dubbed versions, we get the title placed on the opening scene instead. This one is All Aboard! Also, they seem to have changed the font for the titles this series. I would say it’s just the original font italicized, but I feel like it’s a little more different than that.
Takuya’s phone doesn’t ring in the original. He just looks at a message that he has. It seems like Takuya’s reading a message he got on his phone in the original whereas the dub’s acting like he’s checking the time. Did he set his phone alarm for 5:40? And if he’s just reacting to his alarm why did he feel the need to LOOK at his phone? The one that has nothing on the display since Saban seemingly blurred out the original text?
Don’t start screwing around with digital paint now, Saban. I wore out my beatin’ stick on 4Kids…
So they add in Takuya’s phone ringing, but forget to re-add in that background character’s phone ringing?
I love how Takuya says in the dub, as a damn truck is about to hit him, “Aw perfect!” Like it’s just a minor inconvenience. ‘Aw perfect! I lost my car keys! Aw perfect! I’m about to be hit head on by a tractor trailer!’
Shinya, Takuya’s younger brother, originally tells his dad to hurry up and get home. In the dub, he tells him to get him a really big present like a forklift….…
Takuya originally yells that the phone’s ringing. In the dub, he keeps repeating that he’s bored.
They translate the text messages for the dub.
Takuya’s mom asks where Takuya’s going since he’s supposed to be staying for Shinya’s birthday. In the dub, she just tells him to be careful outside. Nice responsible parent. Nice responsible kid, to be fair. He gets a random text message from someone he doesn’t know but somehow knows his name telling him to get on a train at sundown and he just up and does it BECAUSE HE’S BORED. Hey kid, ever heard of ‘stranger danger’? Personal safety? Common sense!? I know this is Digimon, so obviously he’s not going to get picked up by a guy in a blacked out van marked ‘Free Candy’, but this is an awful message.
Since the previous line was changed, when we jump back to Takuya about to be hit by the truck, he also takes the time out to say he hates when his mom’s right (since she warned him not to play in the street.) You honestly think that when you’re about to be turned into road salsa that it’s a good time to make two sarcastic comments? In the original, he just asks if this is his destiny as the text was talking about.
The truck driver yells out to Takuya and asks if he’s alright, but Takuya doesn’t answer. In the dub, Takuya yells “Why does this always happen to me?!” Yeah, I always almost get hit by semis while I’m trying to keep an appointment with some complete stranger too.
The sign on the train station is translated for us.
Hm, it’s a little weird. They never used to feel much of a need to translate signs before, and we can pretty much deduce where he is. I’m not complaining, just curious.
Well, Takuya technically steals a ticket for the train. It just pops out of the dispenser with no transaction, but that’s still stealing. Also, Takuya’s a little too excited about this. For all he knows, this is some spam mail scam yet he’s running around like a mad man all excited about his destiny.
Ya know, in the first season the kids were dragged into the Digital World against their will and it took them quite a while to embrace their ‘destiny’. In the second season, they have the original group of Chosen Children to show them the weight of the Digital World. Not to mention that they felt obligated to keep going into the Digital World to save the Digimon. In the third season, Takato’s gung-ho about Digimon from the start and gets incredibly excited when he receives his Digivice and Digimon. Takuya gets a random text from some creepy person who tells him to go to a train station for his destiny and he acts like he’s going to Disney Land. How boring is his life anyway?
I’m surprised they didn’t change the guy’s watch in this next scene. In order to Americanize the time, we’ve been going by a twelve hour clock system instead of a 24 hour one like in the original. IE, he says he has to get to the train station by 5:45 instead of 17:45. When Takuya checks some other guy’s watch, which is zoomed in on, they don’t change the watch to say 5:45, they leave it as 17:45. Just seems weird to me but maybe they didn’t have the budget to change something like that.
The voice on Takuya’s phone asks if he’ll take a train or leave. In the dub, it just asks which train he’ll take. Yes, you have no choice! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!
Wait, so all of these kids (I wanna say like 30-40 of them) all got a mysterious message from someone they don’t know telling them to go to get on a train and they all did it? Wow. But why did only five actually end up going to the Digital World?
In the original, the kids talk about why they decided to get on the train, and the answer from Takuya is that he wanted to. In the dub, they talk about why they all chose that particular train (even though, from the clips shown, it really looks like they all got on different trains, but whatever) and JP and Zoey say it was closest to the elevator.
Name Change: Junpei Shibayama is changed to JP Shibayama.
Name Change: Izumi Orimoto is changed to Zoe Orimoto
Name Change: Tomoki Himi is changed to Tommy Himi. See what I mean when I mentioned in the Digimon Adventure 02 SDC with the stuff about English names that at least had some connection to the Japanese name? Junpei can easily become JP, Izumi easily to Zoe and Tomoki to Tommy.
Let’s play ‘Connect the Digimon Voice Actors’ again!
Takuya is played by Michael Reitz who voiced Matt in the original two seasons.
Koji is played by Steve Staley who voiced Ryo in season three.
Zoe is voiced by Michelle Ruff who voiced Lopmon in season three, but she has a much bigger resume outside of Digimon to make up for that.
Tommy is voiced by Brianne Siddall who doesn’t have any prior Digimon credits, but was the voice of Tsukasa in .Hack//Sign and Elk in the Dot Hack games.
JP is voiced by Steve Blum who has numerous credits in Digimon including Yamaki and Guilmon from season three and Flamedramon from season two.
Though he hasn’t appeared yet, Bokomon, one of the Digimon that guides the kids alongside Neemon, is voiced by Brian Beacock who voiced Takato in season three.
Tommy’s crying because two bullies pushed him in the train and he didn’t want to get on. Okay, that’s sad, but uh, did they forcibly drag you around the region forcing you to get on various trains and go on the elevator? Because if not, it’s still pretty much your fault.
Tomoki keeps saying “I don’t want to be here” over and over before he finally just screams it while crying. In the dub, he doesn’t repeat this and he doesn’t scream, he just says in a slightly louder voice “Why are kids always picking on me?”
I dunno, kid. I’d say it’s your comically large hat.
Are you housing smurfs in there or what?
Izumi and Junpei originally wonder if the Digimon outside are birds whereas Zoe and JP suspect they might be ghosts or marshmallows. JP then says marshmallows are great with chocolate. Get it? Because he’s fat!
Takuya in the dub says the Digimon outside are probably the ghosts of the kids who came there before.
The eyecatches, as always, are removed.
The eyecatches change with each of the kids’ Spirit Evolutions, so I’ll be updating with each episode.
Entire Series Edit: The Digimon Index screen is translated to English.
Takuya originally just implies that he knows what Cerberumon’s talking about when he mentions the legendary spirit. In the dub, he tells Cerberumon that he can’t have the spirit because it’s his.
Attack Name Change: Hell Fire is changed to Emerald Blaze.
Takuya acts very bravely and tells Cerberumon that he can’t have the legendary spirit while trying to fend him off with a pipe. In the dub, he says nothing but “This ranks pretty high on a scale of one to stupid!”
Cerberumon says in the original that the flames surrounding the spirit shouldn’t affect him, I guess because he also controls fire. He doesn’t mention this in the dub.
The music for the Spirit Evolution in the original is awesome. The music for the dub is also good, but not nearly as intense as the original.
….Anyone else ever notice, not just in Digimon but in many movies, shows and anime that the main character/leader almost always gets fire as their main power?
Name Change: Agnimon is changed to Agunimon. This is pretty much a legit blunder because while the Japanese name would literally translate to ‘Agunimon’ (because you have to combine the symbols for A and Gu to make the sound ‘ag’ in Japanese) the name they are going for is Agnimon because Agni is the Hindu god of fire. I guess it’s possible they did this on purpose for the sake of removing religion?
Tomoki tends to call Takuya “Takuya Onii-san” in the original. I’m not sure if he ever starts calling Takuya anything similar like “big bro” but he hasn’t done that this entire episode so, yeah.
Attack name change: Salamander Break is changed to Pyro Tornado.
Digicodes are changed to Fractal Codes.
Now I know where they got the better clips for the opener in the dub – they took them from the ending theme which has much better clips than the original opener. Also, the ending itself is removed in lieu of a different version of the dub opener, and no next episode preview is present, like many dubs.
Our narrator this season is Rika from the previous season. Speaking of which, I have no clue if this series takes place in yet another universe. It doesn’t seem to be in the same vein as seasons one and two because Digimon aren’t a commonality, and it doesn’t seem to be building on three because Digimon seem to be a completely foreign concept and not a TV show or card game. Hm.
Next episode we’ll get into Koji’s character more and see him Spirit Evolve.
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One thought on “Digimon Frontier Episode 1 Sub/Dub Comparison: The Legendary Warrior! Agnimon of Fire!”
I have never seen Frontier in my life, so this is all new to me. That is weird how the characters turn into Digimon and I may not have made that choice if I was in the director’s chair. The partnership aspect is way more interesting.
You’re absolutely right about so many anime and tokusatsu teams have the main character/leader using pyrokinesis. Sailor Moon and Yu Yu Hakusho are the only exceptions I can think of at the top of my head. Interestingly enough, the creators of both are married to each other.